Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

#4 in Best Things To Do in Pittsburgh
Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens picture
Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens/VisitPITTSBURGH

Key Info

1 Shenley Park

Details

Parks and Gardens Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.3scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 5.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

The Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is a popular backdrop for local weddings and a haven for stressed undergrads, since two universities are just a short walk away. But the conservatory has plenty to offer visitors as well: You can explore the collection of green rooms, each of which is dedicated to a region or specific plant type. Phipps is home to everything from tropical forests and butterfly gardens to bonsai, Joshua tree and orchid plant and flower collections. Just beyond the main entrance, a small shop and a cafe invite travelers to relax. Phipps is great for families, too. The conservatory offers different hands-on activities as well as play areas for children. Most visitors say while the admission may seem a little steep, it's well worth the price tag.

You'll find the Phipps Conservatory adjacent to Carnegie Mellon University's campus on Schenley Park. Admission is $17.95 for adults and $11.95 for children between ages 2 and 18. Phipps is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours on Fridays. Check out the conservatory's website for more information.

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#1 Duquesne Incline

The Duquesne Incline is one of two uphill trolleys — and it has been carting visitors up Mount Washington since the 1870s. After falling on hard times, the Duquesne Incline was lovingly restored in 1963. But why should you visit the trolley in this area instead of the Monongahela one?

This one transports you to an ideal vantage point in Mount Washington, directly above where Pittsburgh's three rivers collide. There's a large viewing platform that extends just over the cliff and on a clear day, the view from the top makes for some excellent photographs. However, some recent visitors say you should wait and hop on the incline at night since it's less crowded and you can see the illuminated city below. Once you get to the top, aside from admiring the view, you can take some time to check out the small museum with some fun facts on Pittsburgh's history and photographs, or grab a souvenir from the gift shop. There are a few restaurants near the upper station as well, though travelers say they're pretty pricey and you're better off heading back downtown to grab a bite to eat.

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Courtesy of VisitPITTSBURGH
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